Why do we spend so much time talking about what goes on inside our head? Because how we think directly affects what we do. Some of our deeply ingrained beliefs can prevent you from defining what makes you happy and taking the steps necessary to live a happier life.
5 Beliefs that Can Stop You from Being Happy
1. I have to be a good person.
There is no universal definition of what it means to be good. Trying to achieve (or maintain) such an ambiguous title is not only futile, but puts you in the position of constantly evaluating yourself based on what someone else may or may not think. It’s exhausting! Focus, instead, on living in line with specific values that matter to you.
2. I have to be responsible.
By whose standards? You might make the case that you can’t short sell your house because it would hurt your credit score, but a credit score isn’t all that important to people who don’t have debt and don’t plan to acquire debt (use credit) in the future. Maintaining a mortgage that prevents you from paying off other debts, saving, or living on a lower monthly income could arguably be the less responsible choice. Rid yourself of measuring sticks that aren’t clearly marked or are held by others.
3. People show how they feel about you with their actions.
Not necessarily. It’s dangerous to read too much into actions. How someone behaves may simply be a representation of their knowledge, communication skills, and emotional maturity. Spend less time analyzing how someone feels and more time clarifying how you want to be treated.
4. Quitters never win.
One of the times I quit smoking, my young son told me he was surprised because people “don’t normally quit things they’re good at.” The notion that quitters never win is taught at an early age, it seems, and it’s often a difficult lesson to unlearn when we get older. The fear of quitting, of changing course, may keep us stuck in situations that are no longer working. Whether or not our previous decisions were right or wrong is irrelevant. Make the most right decision you can today and have the courage to keep making new decisions when the time comes.
5. Being selfish is bad.
It’s OK to put yourself first, even if you’re a parent or spouse. You can be a loving person and still take responsibility for your own happiness, trusting and encouraging those you love to do the same. The “selfish” person to avoid is the one whose happiness must come at the expense of your own.
What beliefs are holding you back?